|Alfred Hitchcock Presents|
|Also known as||The Alfred Hitchcock Hour(1962–1965)|
|Genre|| Anthology |
|Created by||Alfred Hitchcock|
|Presented by||Alfred Hitchcock|
|Theme music composer||Charles Gounod|
|Opening theme||"Funeral March of a Marionette" by Charles Gounod|
|Composer||Stanley Wilson (music supervisor)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||10|
|No. of episodes||268 (Alfred Hitchcock Presents) |
93 (The Alfred Hitchcock Hour)
361 (total) (list of episodes)
|Executive producer||Alfred Hitchcock|
|Producers|| Joan Harrison |
|Editor||Edward W. Williams|
|Running time||25–26 minutes (Seasons 1–7)|
49–50 minutes (Seasons 8–10)
|Production companies|| Revue Studios |
|Distributor|| Revue Studios |
NBCUniversal Television Distribution
|Original network|| CBS |
|Picture format||Black-and-white 4:3|
|Audio format||Monaural sound|
|Original release||October 2, 1955 –|
June 26, 1965
|Related shows||Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1985)|
Alfred Hitchcock Presentsis an American television anthology series created, hosted, and produced by Alfred Hitchcock, and aired on CBS and NBC between 1955 and 1965. It features dramas, thrillers, and mysteries. Between 1962 and 1965 it was renamed The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. Hitchcock himself directed a relatively small number of episodes.
By the time the show premiered on October 2, 1955, Hitchcock had been directing films for over three decades. Time magazine named Alfred Hitchcock Presents as one of "The 100 Best TV Shows of All Time".The Writers Guild of America ranked it #79 on their list of the 101 Best-Written TV Series, tying it with Monty Python's Flying Circus , Star Trek: The Next Generation and Upstairs, Downstairs . In 2021, Rolling Stone ranked it 18th on its list of 30 Best Horror TV Shows of All Time.
A series of literary anthologies with the running title Alfred Hitchcock Presents were issued to capitalize on the success of the television series. One volume, devoted to stories that censors would not allow to be adapted for broadcast, was entitled Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Stories They Wouldn't Let Me Do on TV—though eventually several of the stories collected therein were adapted.
Alfred Hitchcock Presents is well known for its title sequence.The camera fades in on a simple line-drawing caricature of Hitchcock's rotund profile (which Hitchcock drew), to the theme music of Charles Gounod's "Funeral March of a Marionette" (suggested by Hitchcock's long-time musical collaborator Bernard Herrmann). Hitchcock appears in silhouette from the right edge of the screen, and then walks to center screen to eclipse the caricature. He then almost always says, "Good evening." The caricature drawing and Gounod's "Funeral March of a Marionette" have become indelibly associated with Hitchcock in popular culture.
Hitchcock appears again after the title sequence and drolly introduces the story from an empty studio or from the set of the current episode; his monologues were written by James B. Allardice.At least two versions of the opening were shot for every episode. A version intended for the American audience would often spoof a recent popular commercial or poke fun at the sponsor, leading into the commercial. An alternative version for European audiences would include jokes at the expense of Americans in general. For later seasons, opening remarks were also filmed with Hitchcock speaking in French and German for the show's international presentations.
Hitchcock closed the show in much the same way as it opened, but mainly to tie up loose ends rather than joke.Frequently, a leading character in the story would have seemingly gotten away with a criminal activity; in the postscript, Hitchcock would briefly detail how fate (or the authorities) eventually brought the character to justice. Hitchcock told TV Guide that his reassurances that the criminal had been apprehended were "a necessary gesture to morality."
Alfred Hitchcock Presents finished at number 6 in the Nielsen ratings for the 1956–57 season, number 12 in 1957–58, number 24 in 1958–59, and number 25 in 1959–60.The series was originally 25 minutes per episode, but it was expanded to 50 minutes in 1962 and retitled The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. Hitchcock directed 17 of the 267 filmed episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents — four during the first season and one or two per season thereafter. He directed only the fourth of the 93 50-minute episodes, entitled "I Saw the Whole Thing" with John Forsythe. The last new episode aired on June 26, 1965, but the series has continued to be popular in television syndication for decades.
Actors appearing in the most episodes include Patricia Hitchcock (Alfred Hitchcock's daughter), Dick York, Robert Horton, James Gleason, John Williams, Robert H. Harris, Russell Collins, Barbara Baxley, Ray Teal, Percy Helton, Phyllis Thaxter, Carmen Mathews, Mildred Dunnock, Alan Napier, Robert Vaughn, and Vincent Price.
Many notable film actors, such as Robert Redford, Inger Stevens, Cedric Hardwicke, Robert Newton, Steve McQueen, Bruce Dern, Walter Matthau, George Segal, Laurence Harvey, Claude Rains, Joan Fontaine, Thelma Ritter, Dennis Morgan, Joseph Cotten, Vera Miles, Tom Ewell, Peter Lorre, Bette Davis, Dean Stockwell, Jessica Tandy, Michael Rennie, Phyllis Thaxter, Roger Moore, John Cassavetes, Teresa Wright and Barbara Bel Geddes, among others, also appeared on the series.
The directors who directed the most episodes included Robert Stevens (44 episodes),Paul Henreid (28 episodes), Herschel Daugherty (24 episodes), Norman Lloyd (19 episodes), Alfred Hitchcock (17 episodes), Arthur Hiller (17 episodes), James Neilson (12 episodes), Justice Addiss (10 episodes), and John Brahm (10 episodes). Other notable directors included Robert Altman, Ida Lupino, Stuart Rosenberg, Robert Stevenson, David Swift and William Friedkin, who directed the last episode of the show.
The broadcast history was as follows:
Alfred Hitchcock Presents, 25 minutes long, aired weekly at 9:30 on CBS on Sunday nights from 1955 to 1960, and then at 8:30 on NBC on Tuesday nights from 1960 to 1962.It was followed by The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, which lasted for three seasons, September 1962 to June 1965, adding another 93 episodes to the 268 already produced for Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
Two episodes that were directed by Hitchcock were nominated for Emmy Awards. The first episode was "The Case of Mr. Pelham" in 1955 that starred Tom Ewell while the second was "Lamb to the Slaughter" in 1958 that starred Barbara Bel Geddes and Harold J. Stone. In 2009 TV Guide's list of "100 Greatest Episodes of All Time" ranked "Lamb to the Slaughter" at #59. The third season opener "The Glass Eye" (1957) won an Emmy Award for director Robert Stevens. An episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour titled "An Unlocked Window" (1965) earned an Edgar Award for writer James Bridges in 1966.
Among the most famous episodes remains writer Roald Dahl's "Man from the South" (1960) 's 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time. The episode was later referenced and remade in the film Four Rooms , with Quentin Tarantino directing a segment called "The Man from Hollywood".starring Steve McQueen and Peter Lorre, in which a man bets his finger that he can start his lighter 10 times in a row. This episode was ranked #41 on TV Guide
The 1962 episode "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" was not aired by NBC because the sponsor felt that the ending was too gruesome. [ when? ] been shown in syndication.The plot has a magician's helper performing a "sawing a woman in half" trick. Not knowing that the performance is meant to be an illusion, the helper actually cuts an unconscious woman in half. The episode has since
Universal Studios released the first five seasons of Alfred Hitchcock Presents on DVD in Region 1. Season 6 was released on November 12, 2013 via Amazon.com's CreateSpace program. This is a Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) release on DVD-R, available exclusively through Amazon.com.
In Region 2, Universal Pictures UK has released the first three seasons on DVD, and Fabulous Films has released all seven seasons on DVD, including all three seasons of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.
In Region 4, Madman Entertainment has released all seven seasons on DVD in Australia. They have also released all three seasons of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.
|DVD title||Episodes||Release dates|
|Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|
|Season One||39||October 4, 2005|
March 13, 2018 (re-release)
|February 20, 2006||July 15, 2009|
|Season Two||39||October 17, 2006||March 26, 2007||November 17, 2009|
|Season Three||39||October 9, 2007||April 14, 2008||May 17, 2010|
|Season Four||36||November 24, 2009||October 26, 2015||September 29, 2010|
|Season Five||38||January 3, 2012||October 26, 2015||May 18, 2011|
|Season Six||38||November 12, 2013 (DVD-R)||October 26, 2015||November 16, 2011|
|Season Seven||38||n/a||October 26, 2015||February 20, 2013|
|DVD title||Episodes||Region 2||Region 4|
|The Alfred Hitchcock Hour: The Complete First Season||32||January 11, 2016||May 22, 2013|
|The Alfred Hitchcock Hour: The Complete Second Season||32||January 11, 2016||May 22, 2013|
|The Alfred Hitchcock Hour: The Complete Third Season||29||January 11, 2016||May 22, 2013|
In 1985, NBC aired a new TV movie pilot based upon the series, combining four newly filmed stories with colorized footage of Hitchcock from the original series to introduce each segment. The movie was a huge ratings success. The Alfred Hitchcock Presents revival series debuted in the fall of 1985 and retained the same format as the pilot: newly filmed stories (a mixture of original works and updated remakes of original series episodes) with colorized introductions by Hitchcock. The new series lasted only one season before NBC cancelled it, but it was then produced for three more years by the USA Network.
In 1962, Golden Records released a record album of six ghost stories for children titled Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Ghost Stories for Young People. The album, which opens with the Charles Gounod Alfred Hitchcock Presents theme music, is hosted by Hitchcock himself, who begins, "How do you do, boys and girls. I'm delighted to find that you believe in ghosts, too. After all, they believe in you, so it is only common courtesy to return the favor."Hitchcock introduces each of the stories, all the while recounting a droll story of his own failed attempts to deal with a leaky faucet (which at the conclusion of the album leads to Hitchcock "drowning" in his flooded home). The ghost stories themselves, accompanied by minimal sound effects and music, are told by actor John Allen, four of which he wrote himself, and two of which are adaptations:
Charles William Mumy Jr. is an American actor, writer and musician and a figure in the science-fiction community/comic book fandom. He came to prominence in the 1960s as a child actor, which included television appearances on The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and a role in the film Dear Brigitte, followed by an iconic three-season role as Will Robinson in the 1960s CBS sci-fi series Lost in Space.
Night Gallery is an American anthology television series that aired on NBC from December 16, 1970, to May 27, 1973, featuring stories of horror and the macabre. Rod Serling, who had gained fame from an earlier series, The Twilight Zone, served both as the on-air host of Night Gallery and as a major contributor of scripts, although he did not have the same control of content and tone as he had on The Twilight Zone. Serling viewed Night Gallery as a logical extension of The Twilight Zone, but while both series shared an interest in thought-provoking dark fantasy, more of Zone's offerings were science fiction while Night Gallery focused on horrors of the supernatural.
The year 1960 in television involved some significant events. Below is a list of television-related events during 1960.
Unsolved Mysteries is an American mystery documentary television show, created by John Cosgrove and Terry Dunn Meurer. Documenting cold cases and paranormal phenomena, it began as a series of seven specials, presented by Raymond Burr, Karl Malden, and Robert Stack, beginning on NBC on January 20, 1987, becoming a full-fledged series on October 5, 1988, hosted by Stack. After nine seasons on NBC, the series moved to CBS for its 10th season on November 13, 1997. After adding Virginia Madsen as a co-host during season 11 failed to boost slipping ratings, CBS canceled the series after only a two-season, 12-episode run on June 11, 1999. The series was revived by Lifetime in 2000, with season 12 beginning on July 2, 2001. Unsolved Mysteries aired 103 episodes on Lifetime, before ending on September 20, 2002, an end that coincided with Stack's illness and eventual death.
Brian Keith was an American film, television and stage actor who in his six-decade-long career gained recognition for his work in movies such as the Disney family film The Parent Trap (1961), Johnny Shiloh (1963), the comedy The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming (1966), and the adventure saga The Wind and the Lion (1975), in which he portrayed President Theodore Roosevelt.
Vera June Miles is a retired American actress who worked closely with Alfred Hitchcock, most notably as Lila Crane in the classic 1960 film Psycho, reprising the role in the 1983 sequel Psycho II. Other films in which she appeared include Tarzan's Hidden Jungle (1955), The Searchers (1956), Alfred Hitchcock's The Wrong Man (1956), A Touch of Larceny (1959), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), Follow Me, Boys! (1966), Sergeant Ryker (1968) and Molly and Lawless John (1972).
Robert Lansing was an American stage, film, and television actor. He had craggy good looks, a stentorian voice, commanding presence, and characteristic bushy eyebrows. Lansing's motion picture roles included A Gathering of Eagles with Rock Hudson and Under the Yum Yum Tree opposite Jack Lemmon. On television, he appeared in episodes of such hits as Star Trek, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Twilight Zone and Murder, She Wrote. Lansing is probably best remembered as the authoritarian Brig. Gen. Frank Savage in 12 O'Clock High (1964), the television drama series about American bomber pilots during World War II.
Anne Helm is a retired Canadian-born actress and children’s author, who primarily appeared in guest roles on episodes of various American television series. Her few film roles include playing Elvis Presley's love interest in the 1962 film Follow That Dream. Helm had two recurring roles, playing Molly Pierce in five episodes during the 85-episode run of the mid-1960s series Run for Your Life and playing the minor role of nurse Mary Briggs in an unknown number of episodes of the daily soap opera General Hospital from 1971 to 1973.
Jewel Franklin Guy, known professionally as James Best, was an American television, film, stage, and voice actor, as well as a writer, director, acting coach, artist, college professor, and musician. During a career that spanned more than 60 years, he performed not only in feature films but also in scores of television series, as well as appearing on various country music programs and talk shows. Television audiences, however, perhaps most closely associate Best with his role as the bumbling Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane in the action-comedy series The Dukes of Hazzard, which originally aired on CBS between 1979 and 1985. He reprised the role in 1997 and 2000 for the made-for-television movies The Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion! and The Dukes of Hazzard: Hazzard in Hollywood (2000).
Thriller is an American anthology television series that aired during the 1960–61 and 1961–62 seasons on NBC. The show featured host Boris Karloff introducing a mix of macabre horror tales and suspense thrillers.
Robert Arthur Jr. was a writer of speculative fiction known for his work with The Mysterious Traveler radio series and for writing The Three Investigators, a series of young adult novels.
Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond is an American anthology series created by Merwin Gerard. The original series was broadcast for three seasons by the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) from January 1959 to July 1961.
An anthology series is a radio, television, or film series that spans through different genres, and presents a different story and a different set of characters in each episode, season, segment or short. These usually have a different cast in each episode, but several series in the past, such as Four Star Playhouse, employed a permanent troupe of character actors who would appear in a different drama each week. Some anthology series, such as Studio One, began on radio and then expanded to television.
Karl Swenson was an American theatre, radio, film, and television actor. Early in his career, he was credited as Peter Wayne.
Reta Shaw was an American character actress known for playing strong, working women in film and on many of the most popular television programs of the 1960s and 1970s in the United States. She may be best remembered as the housekeeper, Martha Grant, on the television series The Ghost & Mrs. Muir and as the cook, Mrs. Brill, in the 1964 film Mary Poppins.
Henry Slesar was an American author, playwright, and copywriter. He is famous for his use of irony and twist endings. After reading Slesar's "M Is for the Many" in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock bought it for adaptation and they began many successful collaborations. Slesar wrote hundreds of scripts for television series and soap operas, leading TV Guide to call him "the writer with the largest audience in America."
Vaughn Everett Taylor was an American actor. He became known for his roles in many anthology series, including Kraft Television Theatre (1947–1957) and Robert Montgomery Presents (1950–1954). He also appeared in films such as Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) and Psycho (1960).
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